Bacon Cheese Beer Bread is the perfect spin on beer bread. Made with just five ingredients, you won’t be able to get enough of this delicious bread.
One of my favorite things about beer bread is how easy it is to make a twist on. In this version we are adding bacon and cheese. I just need to tell you that beer bread, bacon, and cheese are meant to be together. This bread is just five simple ingredients and needs to be part of your life immediately.
OMG this bread was amazing!!!
Beer Bread Recipe
Why Beer Bread Works
This recipe for beer bread starts with self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is a combination of flour, baking powder, and salt. The combination of the baking powder and the salt works together to act as a leavening agent.
In my Pizza Dough recipe, you can see how we add yeast (the leavening agent) to warm water and wait for it to proof before adding it to the flour mixture and letting that dough rise. By using self-rising flour, we skip that step in this recipe.
How to Make Beer Bread with Cheese and Bacon
Here is a brief overview of how to make this simple bread. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the self-rising flour and sugar.
- Stir in the beer. See my recommendations on beer and alternatives below. Then add the cooked bacon and cheese.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Be sure to see my bread pan recommendation below, as pans can make a huge difference.
- Bake. In the last three minutes of baking, add melted butter if desired. Allow to cool before slicing.
How to Make Self-Rising Flour
There are a few differences when it comes to all-purpose flour and self-rising flour and they are not interchangeable. Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt; all-purpose flour does not. Additionally, self-rising flour is made with wheat and is lower in protein than all-purpose flour.
It is possible to make a substitute for self-rising flour with all-purpose flour, but keep in mind it won’t be exactly the same because you are changing the protein level.
For every cup of flour you use, you need one teaspoon of fresh baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of table salt. So for this recipe, you can replace the self-rising flour with:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
The Best Bread Pan
When people tell me a bread recipe didn’t work, the first question I always ask them is what kind of pan they used. Metal, ceramic, and glass all conduct heat differently and will have a different impact on your baking recipe. I opt for metal for all my baked goods because it conducts heat the best.
The bread pan you see here is this one from USA Pans. I’ve actually bought a second one of these so that I can double my recipes and make two loaves at once!
Best Beer For Beer Bread
I get asked what beer is best for beer bread a lot with this recipe and my Original Beer Bread Recipe. The answer is: whatever type of beer you like. It is important to use a beer that you would drink on its own because even with the bacon and cheese it can be a strong flavor in this bread.
I use a pilsner because it is light and doesn’t have an intense flavor. Though I have only made this recipe with pilsner beers, this bread will work with any type of beer. It also works with soda (read more on that below). This is a great recipe to play around with and figure out what you like.
Making Beer Bread With Soda
If you have someone in your life who is sober, you can still make this great bread! This recipe for beer bread works great with soda. I make it with lemon-lime soda (like Sprite or 7-Up). It has just a slightly smaller rise that is barely noticeable. Because of the additional sugar content, it browns just slightly more.
Overall, soda is a great substitute for beer in this recipe. I think that a lemon-lime soda is the best choice because it has the mildest taste of sodas.
Even though this bread bakes in the oven, it is important to cook your bacon before adding it to the batter. Bacon adds so much flavor to this bread recipe, so cooking it well is important.
I prefer to dice up the bacon and then cook it in a cast iron pan just until it begins to turn crisp. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
You could also cook your bacon in the air fryer for a super easy cleanup. Cook it whole and then dice it after it is cooked.
This easy beer bread recipe uses shredded cheddar cheese. Anytime a recipe calls for shredded cheese, I recommend getting a block of cheese and shredding your own. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in preservatives to prevent it from clumping together. Not only with shredding it yourself allow it to melt better, it will also taste better. Take the few extra minutes to shred your own. It’s worth it.
Making Beer Bread Gluten Free
This bread recipe can be made gluten-free if you make your own self-rising flour with gluten-free flour. As you can see in the photo in my beer bread recipe, it doesn’t have quite the same rise as when you use flour with gluten, but it absolutely does work.
I suggest using a gluten-free flour that is meant to replace all-purpose flour one-for-one. I used King Arthur’s brand in this test. You will want to use:
- 3 cups gluten-free one-for-one flour substitute
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
This bread is delicious with or without butter. If you prefer to have butter on your bread, I recommend using three tablespoons of melted butter and pouring it over the bread in the last three to five minutes of baking to prevent it from browning or burning.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure your self-rising flour is fresh. Because of the baking powder in it, self-rising flour has a shelf-life of about six months. The further you get out from that six month mark, the less of a rise you are going to get in your bread.
- Don’t overmix. Mix your batter until the ingredients are just combined. Overmixing will make your loaf dense.
- Use a good bread pan. See my recommendation for my favorite above.
- Measure your flour correctly. This is crucial for all baking recipes to avoid getting too much flour. Whisk the flour in its container and use a spoon to scoop it into a dry measuring cup. Level it with the flat edge of a spatula.
- Wait to slice into it. Bread really does need to cool before you can slice into it. It needs almost a full hour to get nice solid slices.
Simply put, no. It takes three hours to completely cook alcohol out of food. Since this bread bakes for a little under an hour, it will only bake off a portion of the alcohol. If you prefer to avoid the alcohol altogether, I recommend using replacing the beer with soda. I share how to do this above.
Room-temperature beer will give you your best results. This will help the bread to rise. That being said, I’ve made this with cold beer too and it also worked well.
Bake your bread for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. Keep in mind that the cheese in the bread may be on the toothpick too.
I prefer making this with a light beer like a pilsner because it has such a mild flavor. That being said, this recipe will work with any beer. Just be sure to use one that you enjoy the flavor of.
Storing Beer Bread With Cheese and Bacon
Once this bread has fully cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days on the counter. You can reheat slices of bread in the toaster or in the oven if you prefer it warm, or can enjoy it at room temperature. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.
You can make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it. Once it has fully cooled, store it in an airtight container with the air removed, like a gallon ziplock bag, and keep it in the freezer for up to three months.
You can also freeze this bread in slices. Once the bread has cooled, cut it into slices and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet for a few hours. Then transfer them to an airtight container and freeze them for up to three months.
Allow the beer bread to thaw before enjoying it. Reheat in the oven for 10 minutes.
Other Beer Bread Variations
Because the original beer bread recipe is so simple, it is easy to customize it with mix-ins and make variations. Here are a few of my favorite beer bread recipes:
If you try this bacon cheese beer bread or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
Bacon Cheese Beer Bread
- 3 cups self-rising flour (339 grams)
- 1/2 cup sugar (99 grams)
- 12 ounces beer (354.88 ml)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (226.8 grams) shredded
- 4 pieces thick cut bacon cooked and diced
- 1 tablespoon butter melted (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and the flour. Gently mix in the beer. The batter will be thick.3 cups self-rising flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 12 ounces beer
- Mix in the shredded cheese and bacon.8 ounces cheddar cheese, 4 pieces thick cut bacon
- Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out with just a few crumbs (keep in mind that the cheese in the bread may be on the toothpick too).
- Brush on the melted butter if using.1 tablespoon butter
- Allow to cool in the bread pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 1 hour before slicing.